Bishop Sofie Petersen,
first Inuit Lutheran bishop
|Regions with significant populations|
|Kalaallisut and Danish|
|Inuit religion, Evangelical Lutheran|
|Related ethnic groups|
|other Greenlandic Inuit|
Kalaallit are Greenlandic Inuit from the western part of the country. The term is the contemporary term in the Kalaallisut language for the indigenous people living in Greenland, also called the Kalaallit Nunaat. The singular term is kalaaleq. The Kalaallit are a part of the Arctic Inuit people. The language spoken by Inuit in Greenland is Kalaallisut.
Historically, Kalaallit referred specifically to the people of Western Greenland. Northern and Eastern Greenlanders call themselves Avanersuarmiut and Tunumiit, respectively. About 80% to 88% of Greenland's population, or approximately 44,000 to 50,000 people identify as being Inuit.
Kalaallit are descended from Dorset and Thule people, who settled Greenland in ancient times. As 84% of Greenland's land mass is covered by the Greenland ice sheet, Kalaallit live in three regions: Polar, Eastern, and Western. In the 1850s the Canadian Inuit joined the Polar Inuit communities.
The Kalaallit have a strong artistic tradition based on sewing animal skins and making masks. They are also known for an art form of figures called tupilaq or an "evil spirit object." Traditional art-making practices thrive in the Ammassalik. Sperm whale ivory remains a valued medium for carving.
- "Greenland." CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 6 Aug 2012.
- "Inuktitut, Greenlandic." Ethnologue. Retrieved 6 Aug 2012.
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- Baldacchino, Geoffery. "Extreme tourism: lessons from the world's cold water islands", Elsevier Science, 2006: 101. (retrieved through Google Books) ISBN 978-0-08-044656-1.
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- Hessel, Ingo. Arctic Spirit. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 2006 ISBN 978-1-55365-189-5
- Kalaallit historical art collections, National Museum of the American Indian
- Kalaallit archaeology art collections, National Museum of the American Indian